Medicare and Social Security are vitally important to millions of retired Americans who paid into the programs during their working years. They are important to today’s taxpayers, too, who are covering Medicare and Social Security’s current bills. Every American has a vested interest in the financial health and long-term viability of both programs.
The Social Security system provides income critical to the livelihood of America’s seniors. However, in many ways, the system is outdated and unfair. Constituents often express their frustration with their Social Security benefits and the difficulty of maneuvering through the massive bureaucracy for answers when issues arise.
Much has changed since Social Security was created over 70 years ago and it is my duty to ensure that promises made are promises kept. Instead of simply continuing with temporary patches to stave off short-term problems or increasing taxes to address the imminent funding shortfalls, now is the time for Congress to make the decisions necessary to secure the future of Social Security for the retirees of today and tomorrow. That’s why I support comprehensive Social Security reform which guarantees people the money they paid into the system instead of continuing to allow the government to squander the money on unrelated priorities, such as the unnecessary Obamacare provisions that raise taxes and cuts benefits for our senior citizens. Retirees of today and tomorrow deserve to know that their benefits are secure rather than being subject to the political whims of Washington.
With regard to Medicare, many seniors are already facing the pain of a broken system and are being denied the care and personal choice they deserve. The American Medical Association reports that 1 in 3 primary doctors is limiting Medicare patients, and more than 1 in 8 is forced to deny Medicare patients altogether.
When Medicare was created in 1965, baby boomers were teenagers. Today, more than 10,000 are retiring every day and there are nowhere near enough workers paying into Medicare to support them. And, though today’s beneficiaries contributed $109,000 to Medicare over the course of their employment, the cost of their care and participation in the program is $343,000.
If we do nothing to fix the fact that Medicare spends three times as much money as it takes in, we will lose Medicare. That is the simple truth.
“Power to the Patients” is the GOP Medicare mantra. Our reforms will ensure the current Medicare program continues for all today’s seniors. For future beneficiaries, Medicare will be patterned after the highly successful Medicare Advantage program. Future seniors will have the option to choose between traditional Medicare and a wide variety of competitive health plans (the same ones available to members of Congress), and apply premium assistance toward enrollment costs. This is the only credible proposal on the table that would preserve Medicare, get its finances in order, and ensure its viability for years to come.
If we reform in a responsible way now, we can save Medicare and Social Security in ways that don’t erode care and benefits for current seniors or pass the burden of government’s unfunded promises onto America’s job creators today and our children and grandchildren tomorrow.
If you would like any more information about this or any other issue, please don’t hesitate to contact me.